As I mentioned in a previous blog, the appearance of two more articles painting a bleak picture of the future of golf came just days before it was announced that more than 50 jobs would be lost at a major Toronto daily newspaper that had nothing to do with previously-mentioned golf stories.
No matter what occupation you’re in, it’s never easy seeing people losing their jobs and I’ve known people in both golf and the media who have recently lost their jobs, many after years of service with a particular company.
Having covered golf for newspapers, magazines and now websites, with a little sprinkling of radio and television in there, I have one foot planted on either side of what is commonly referred to as golf media, both of which are evolving with a changing world.
When you think about it, both face similar challenges – for example, the time factor.
Do you spend as much time reading the morning paper the way you once did? If you do, you’re among a shrinking demographic, while growth is in the number of people headline hunting on their smart phones and perhaps cherry picking one or two stories for a quick read.
How about expense? The cost of an annual subscription for daily delivery the above-mentioned newspaper is close to $600, not including Sundays. I’m sure they can justify this price with their own expenses to produce the paper, but so can golf with its costs for land, taxes, maintenance, staff, etc.
The point is that both industries face big challenges moving forward, but does that mean that they’re dying as one writer suggested a couple of years ago about golf? If that’s the case, can we assume then that media is dying as well?
Most outlets are attempting to remain relevant through social media, technologies and other platforms, while some golf course operators are breaking with tradition and easing dress codes, offering 12-hole rounds, bigger cups, hybrid games and other tweaks that don’t always sit well with traditionalists, although the 18-hole rounds and what they grew up with are still available.
Golf and media aren’t the only two industries evolving and changing these days. As a matter of fact, the entire labour force is changing with part-time or contract positions replacing the full-time employment the previous generation knew, along with benefits and pensions. Jobs that were done in house are now being outsourced and free trade means that many companies will relocate for cheap labour.
Some will say all of that is more about increased profit than it is about survival and they would be correct in many cases, but it does illustrate that the world is changing quickly and businesses, not just media and golf, have to adjust at the same pace.
Does that mean an industry is dying, which has been suggested about golf? Does golf, in fact, have more dire predictions made about its future than any other industry? That’s the topic of this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and, as always, feel free to add your thoughts in the Comments section below.
Are predictions of golf “dying” in the media unfair and more common compared to other industries in similar circumstances?
- YES (72%)
- NO (28%)